4 June 2012

Cameroon: Ekounou Market - Roadside Trading Persists

Some of the traders have refused to relocate to the new site saying they do not see customers.

The Ekounou junction at the Yaounde IV Sub-division is more overcrowded than ever. Vehicles as well as pedestrians can hardly find their way around the junction which is located next to the Ekounou market. Roadside traders at the Ekounou market who were demolished and relocated somewhere around the Nkomo neighbourhood some months back have returned to their positions alongside the road creating serious movement problems for inhabitants. Even the traffic police at the junction are not having it easy trying to ease circulation of vehicles particularly with taxi-men.

Yesterday at 10:00 a.m, all sorts of traders had placed their goods on the ground around the Ekounou junction. Nobody seemed worried over the fact that they had been chased from that spot some months back. A trader in artificial hair ignored a car that was struggling to park around the market and insisted to place her packets of meche along the sidewalk. The trader who refused to speak to Cameroon Tribune's reporter spent her time drawing the attention of customers to her goods. The situation was not different from those selling fruits close to her. The traders did not care to know where pedestrians or customers would place their feet before entering the market or even attempt to buy their goods.

A hawker dwelling in female beauty items said the relocation of traders did not concern him but those who had placed their goods on the ground. However, hawkers in the area are not making things better especially those trading on wheel barrows. From time to time they occupy portions of the road with their wheel barrows. A trader in plums whom we identified as Lucia said when they were relocated to the Nkomo neighbourhood; she transferred to the site, but could not see a customer. Just like Lucia, the other traders who had relocated to the new site gradually made their way back to the Ekounou Market sidewalk without any difficulty. Lucia however said that from time to time workers from the Yaounde IV council come around to chase them away. At the new site where the traders have been transferred, the interior part of the area is deserted but for the entrance that some traders have occupied.

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